Welcome To Commerce

The theory of commerce advanced here captures prominent features of retail trade: large employment, congestion effects, anonymous posted prices, and quantity discounts. This theory is built around a directed search model where buyers’ preferences are private information. The analytical solution is easily inserted in a Neoclassical growth framework. In this framework, the parameters of retail trade are calibrated using commercial margins and employment. Welfare properties depend on the sellers’ ability to charge two-tier prices. With two-tier prices, the directed search equilibrium is efficient. Otherwise, it is not. This contrasts with the full information benchmark, where directed search is always efficient.!